Nicaragua: Navigating the Local Real Estate Market

When people travel to a foreign country like Nicargaua, real estate is typically not at the front of their mind. Very few can say that they have leased a property for business after visiting for just three days, but that’s just what Charles Southwell did nine years ago. Southwell is an investor and real estate developer who lived and worked in Costa Rica for years; he went on a trip to Nicaragua with a friend nine years ago. “Within a matter of 72 hours, I had leased a building for business and basically decided to move here,” Southwell, who now owns the RE/MAX Granada franchise in Nicaragua, said. “I could feel the opportunity.”

Owning oceanfront property on a sunny beach or a period home in an historic city are distant dreams for many people. Such properties seem beyond reach in most areas but are surprisingly affordable in Nicaragua. Nicaragua real estate is beginning to attract global attention because of its rare combination of stunning beauty, which includes long stretches of ocean beaches and cities featuring colonial architecture, and a low cost and high quality of living.

“We enjoy a lot more time because we’re able to afford help here in certain aspects of our living,” Jeff Finch, a real estate developer who moved from Virginia to Nicaragua, said. “We have two housekeepers. We have a gentleman and all he does is take care of our landscaping, he’s kind of our handyman. We also have a pool keeper and a nanny. They’ve become extended members of our family.” Finch pays each of his employees between $100 and $150 per month.

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